August 29, 2009 GMT
Lanquin,Samuc Champey,San Pedro

The following days were spent clambering up more waterfalls, crawling along underground tunnels, and enjoying the scenery and natural beauty of Samuc Champey.
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The hostel was a great base for our excursions and more friends were made during our stay. On the last night of my stay I DJ’d at the bar/restaurant, and we all had one hell of a party!
The next morning Andy and I packed up our bikes and headed out for San Pedro, on Lake Attitlan. I had my Harley packed up pretty quickly, and set off ahead of Andy, who would make much quicker work of the 12 miles of dirt before we reached any sort of tarmac.
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We met up with each other at the end of the dirt road, and rode off together towards San Pedro. We rode through a local market, receiving more than our fair share of stares form the traders. Both our bikes were unusual, Andy had a surfboard strapped to the side of his KLR, and I was on a Harley…not a common bike for the dirt roads of Central America.
We rode on and on, and on some more. It always surprised me how long it could take to do such little distance, and today was no exception. We got held up behind a stream of trucks and busses, exuding their customary clouds of black smoke. By the time we reached Antigua, it was getting dark, but, as we only had an inch or so more distance to travel on the map, we decided to push on.
Neither of us had ridden much at night, or in the dark. The roads were bad enough in the daylight, and riding in the dark meant you missed out on any scenery. With no street lights, cats eyes or signage, night riding had many challenges, as well as being less secure than daylight hours.
But, we figured we were so close, that we may as well carry on.
We rode up and up, into the night, and with the help of our fairly poorly detailed road maps, were lost within an hour. There was no sign of life on the road apart from the odd speeding truck or bus, no petrol stations, shops, nor anyone to stop and ask for directions.The pair of us had been bouncing around on dirt roads for a few hundred miles in recent weeks, resulting in our lights getting a tad out of alignment. Andy's lit up his front mudguard, while mine shone on the overhanging branches of trees. I could only see the road when I was taking a right handed bend, Andy had a better view of left handers, but somehow, we made it.
Relying on my compass only, and following the road as best we could, we carried on some more. Then all of a sudden, the tarmac was gone, and in its place, more dirt and rubble. We crawled along at my Harleys best pace, before coming to a new section of road. My relief was short lived, as after another 500 metres or so , we were back to the dirt track for 3 more miles, this pattern continued for what felt like an eternity, until we finally came upon a gas station.
We stocked up on chocolate and warmed ourselves with hot coffee, and were directed by a gaggle of 6or7 truck drivers to our destination.
We finally reached the turnoff we had been waiting for, and headed towards the lake on roads which were gradually becoming smaller and in worse repair. We rode on, now feeling the cold more than ever, as well as being hungry and tired, but when we crested a small hill and saw lights off in the distance, our spirits raised, only to be dashed once more when we discovered that we were still 3 villages away from our destination.
We finally made it to San Pedro, and after grabbing some Tacos in the square, we were led by a couple of local boys on a 125 to a hostel where we parked up our bikes and went straight to bed without even unpacking!
We awoke to a beautiful morning and headed down to the lake. Having arrived in the dark, we had no idea what awaited us, and the surprise was wonderful. San Pedro was a quaint, undeveloped village, and the lake was beautiful. We sat on the shore watching the locals washing their clothes on the rocks, and surveying the surrounding mountains.
We had a chilled day, recovering from our ride, checked our e.mails and pottered around town, and generally relaxed, and waited. The van loaded with Norwegians and stow away volunteers was only one day behind us, which only meant more madness and mayhem were merely moments away!
Sure enough, with the arrival of the Camper van, a party was brewing. We spent the day together in a super chilled out café bar, sampling some of the local delights, before heading off to the Buddha bar, where I had arranged to play another set. I began DJing at 9pm, and my 11, the place was jumping. We danced till dawn, or at least 2am, before moving on to the after party at some Danish guys’ house up the road.
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Posted by Dan Shell at August 29, 2009 11:06 PM GMT

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